The Third Street Community Center is a place where people of all ages and backgrounds are actively engaged in enriching themselves and their community through education, arts, technology and service. To accomplish our mission, we adopted project-based learning as our primary educational strategy. Project-based learning promotes hands-on activities so youth learn-by-doing. This interactive approach helps youth make connections between complex concepts with real world solutions. This strategy promotes critical thinking and problem solving skills.
We have two key initiatives.
The first is our Inspiring Young Minds initiative which weaves together three key programs to better serve academically at-risk children in San José.
1. The After School Academic Program (ASAP) is a high dosage, high frequency program that provides long-term educational opportunities for children in grades 1-5. This program helps bridge the achievement gap by providing children academic tutoring, mentoring, science education, technological exploration, and more.
2. The Young Engineers Program offers a hands-on, cumulative design based curriculum that introduces 4th to 11th graders to career opportunities in STEM through a competitive design challenge. This program helps youth develop team building and leadership skills while connecting them to mentors who teach them about the engineering design process.
3. Our Summer programming keep academically at risk children safe and learning during the summer. This program was started in 2008 as a way to address summer learning loss for children in our community.
Our second initiative is our STEM for Latina Girls initiative which encourage young Latinas to pursue STEM related careers. This initiative takes middle school girls on tours to Silicon Valley technology companies to meet employees, learn about their college to career journeys, and find out what it takes to be successful in the valley's high tech sector.